Digest

Stories of interest to Arkansas Baptists ...

Tuesday
Jan052016

Southern Baptist missiologists respond to ‘dangerous’ views of ‘Insider Movements’ book

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Calling its views “theologically dangerous,” eight Southern Baptist missiologists published a lengthy rejoinder Jan. 5 to a recent book advocating the controversial ‘“Insider Movements.” The book’s authors claim converts to Christianity can continue identifying with their previous religious community while following Jesus, according to a press release from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.

Ayman S. Ibrahim, Bill and Connie Jenkins Assistant Professor of Islamic Studies at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, coordinated the project with Ant Greenham, associate professor of missions and Islamic studies at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, to reject the various views presented in Understanding Insider Movements: Disciples of Jesus within Diverse Religious Communities. The authors say the idea was generated after they received copies of the highly-anticipated book, edited by (pen names) Harley Talman and John Jay Travis, from publisher William Carey Library.

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Tuesday
Jan052016

Christian bakers pay fine, but will continue appeal

Melissa and Aaron KleinGRESHAM, Ore. (BP) – Christian bakers Aaron and Melissa Klein have paid the state of Oregon a fine of nearly $137,000 after refusing to violate their religious beliefs by baking a wedding cake for a lesbian couple, the Oregonian newspaper reported.

The Kleins paid the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries $136,927.07 Dec. 28 with money contributed through a crowdfunding page after the Oregon labor commissioner seized just weeks before Christmas their personal bank accounts which totaled nearly $7,000, the Oregonian said. In total, the Kleins have paid nearly $144,000 and may be due a refund.

An Oregon administrative law judge fined the Kleins $135,000 in April 2015, accusing them of violating state law protecting the rights of homosexuals when the couple refused to bake a wedding cake for Laurel Bowman and Rachel Cryer in January 2013. The Kleins had asked the state to postpone collecting the fine, upheld on appeal in July 2015, while they continued the appeal process, but the request was twice denied.

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Monday
Jan042016

Americans are in the middle of the pack globally when it comes to importance of religion

More than half of Americans (53 percent) now say religion is very important in their lives, according to a recent Pew Research Center report. While this figure has declined somewhat in recent years – down from 56 percent in 2007 – Americans remain in the middle of the pack in terms of importance of religion when compared with people around the world.

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Monday
Jan042016

Millennials’ views of news media, religious organizations grow more negative

Younger generations tend to have more-positive views than their elders of a number of institutions that play a big part in American society. But for some institutions – such as churches and the news media – Millennials’ opinions have become markedly more negative in the past five years.

Since 2010, Millennials’ rating of churches and other religious organizations has dipped 18 percentage points: 55% now say churches have a positive impact on the country compared with five years ago, when nearly three-quarters (73%) said this. Views among older generations have changed little over this time period.

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Tuesday
Dec292015

Muslims and Islam: Key findings in the United States and around the world

MUSLIMS ARE THE fastest-growing religious group in the world. The growth and regional migration of Muslims, combined with the ongoing impact of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and other extremist groups that commit acts of violence in the name of Islam, have brought Muslims and the Islamic faith to the forefront of the political debate in many countries. Yet many facts about Muslims are not well known in some of these places, and most Americans – who live in a country with a relatively small Muslim population – say they known little or nothing about Islam.

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